Nokia pulls Lumia 920 product placement from Ke$ha music video

November 11, 2012 by  
Filed under News

It’s recently been a trend to use heavy product placement in mainstream music videos, but most of them involve placement of newly released phones by companies looking to target the right audience. But this is the first time that a company has paid for product placement, the video released and then they changed their mind.

First, it was revealed that singer Ke$ha will be seen using a Nokia Lumia 920 in her upcoming music video ‘Die Young’, which looked like a promotional tie-in for Nokia for their new big phone. And then video itself was released, which had the shot (shown above) and the singer using the phone for a good ten seconds of screentime. But the video itself got a flurry of dislikes and generally negative reaction, and looks like Nokia did an about-turn on the matter.

In the new version of the video, the ten seconds of her using the phone have been omitted and replaced with different footage. The phone is no longer seen, and we can only speculate why Nokia made the decision. Let’s hope it was because they realized the quality of the music and personality of the singer involved. Thanks to Winsyde for noticing.

Apple loses Facetime patent lawsuit, fined $368 million

November 8, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Sometimes, you begin to become the victim of your own game. After Apple got a landmark victory against Samsung for patent infringement which led to Samsung having to pay them more than a billion dollars in fines, looks like it’s Apple’s turn to be on the other end of the stick.

A company by the name of VirnetX earlier sued apple for infringing four of their patents in FaceTime on its iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Mac devices. International Business Times reports that the judges have ruled against Apple in the case, fining them with £230 million ($368m) and definitively reaching the conclusion that Apple did infringe on their patents.

A lawyer representing VirnetX said the following:

For years Apple refused to pay fair value for the VirnetX patents. Apple says they don’t infringe. But Apple developers testified that they didn’t pay any attention to anyone’s patents when developing their system.

Apple lawyer Danny Williams, however, made the more ironic statement:

[VirnetX] is not entitled to money for things they did not invent. The VirnetX technology, if used, is a small part of very large, complex products.

So it’s not right to sue for something you didn’t event. There’s so much juicy irony here that I’ll refrain from gushing over it.

Do you think Apple deserved it?

Google Maps for iOS may not be approved by Apple

November 7, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Enough has been said about the utter failure of iOS 6 maps on the iPhone 5 and users have turned from being frustrated about its complete incompetence to making memes and hilarious jokes about it. In fact, Apple’s own Tim Cooks apologised for it and recommended competing third party alternatives for the time being. But what users need at this time is the old trustworthy Google Maps that led them to the right path through previous generation iPhones. And even though Google said that they’re developing a new version for the phone, looks like it will have another problem to face.

The Guardian reports from insider sources who believe that there’s a good possibility that Apple may reject the Google Maps app from the App Store in order to make their own product better. Google themselves have a doubt whether they will be allowed on the platform, but they’re developing it anyway. But one of Apple’s key designers Scott Forstall left the company recently after the fury over the maps, and that could increase chances of the app making it to the store. But even then, Apple might “keep moving forward in an effort to make its obviously inferior product better”.

Thoughts?

Samsung sells 30 million Galaxy S III’s worldwide

November 6, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Despite taking an unfair beating by Apple with a court defeat recently, looks like Samsung has other good things to boast about.

The official Facebook page for Samsung Poland reveals some current sales figures of Samsung smartphones. Not only has the recently released Note II sold 3 million units so far, but the real shining point is the fact that their acclaimed smartphone Galaxy S III has sold more than 30 million units worldwide so far, beating sales records of both the S I and S II previously.

Proving that Apple has some strong competition in the market now, it will be interesting to see how this changes the game next year.

Twitter to implement Instagram-like filters

November 5, 2012 by  
Filed under News

While Twitter’s own photo upload service powered by Photobucket is popular in itself, it isn’t quite as popular as Instagram is with all its filters for hipsters to revel in. Well, Twitter is finally caving in and competing.

The New York Times reports that Twitter has decided to add photo filters to its own service for mobile apps, in hopes to circumvent the middle man and get some of that traffic. More additions are being mulled, including the addition of video upload. It’s obvious that Twitter is feeling threatened with the amount of Instagram shares on Twitter considering Facebook has now acquired that service, so let’s see how they come on their own with it.

More choices for hipsters.

50 Cent launches his SMS Audio headphones at Gitex Technology Week

October 17, 2012 by  
Filed under News

You thought Beats by Dr. Dre were enough for your listening pleasure? Well, here comes another pair of celebrity-endorsed headphones to the market. Hope your ears can take the awesome.

Internationally-acclaimed artist, entrepreneur and humanitarian, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, launched his SMS Audio brand of headphones at Gitex Technology Week. 50 Cent held a joint press conference with Shift LLC, a leading electronics distributor that was selected as SMS Audio’s official partner in 14 countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Speaking to reporters, 50 Cent explained: “Dubai is the perfect springboard to launch SMS Audio, because the emirate is famous for its pursuit of high standards in everything it does. I’m honored to contribute to that legacy through the quality of these hi-tech headphones.”

Addressing enquiries about the product’s availability, Managing Director of Shift LLC, Mazen Khanafer responded: “SMS Audio is currently available for purchase in the Middle East, and we anticipate high demand – given 50 Cent’s status and the product’s innovative features. We are optimistic that this partnership will give Shift LLC a competitive advantage as we expand in the billion-dollar audio industry.”

SMS Audio initially launched two main lines of headphones: “Sync by 50” (over-ear wireless headphones) “Street by 50” (wired in-ear and wired over-ear headphones.
Some of the advanced features include high-end styling, professional studio sound, full on-board controls, and passive noise cancellation.

Summing up his future plans, 50 Cent stated: “The terrific start that our brand has had in the Middle East makes me really excited about our future prospects in the region. We now aim to build on that, because this launch is part of a wider evolution for SMS Audio. From a humanitarian perspective, as a conscious capitalist I’m excited about our partnership with Dubai Autism Center, where every SMS Audio product sold within a certain timeframe will contribute towards autistic children.”

Sara Ahmad Baker of the Dubai Autism Center expressed her gratitude for the corporate responsibility shown by SMS Audio and Shift LLC: “On behalf of the autistic children who we care for, I want to extend our heartfelt appreciation for SMS Audio’s very generous offer. 50 Cent has shown that despite all the fame and achievements, he is first and foremost a caring human being.”

50 Cent’s previous humanitarian endeavors have seen him pledging to feed a billion people over the coming years, through Street King, his energy drink, which funds one meal per purchase to children in Africa through the World Food Programme. A natural evolution from 50’s efforts saw SMS Audio partnering with Feeding America bringing the relief efforts to the United States where 250 meals are donated to Feeding America for each domestic purchase through www.smsaudio.com.

In the brand’s previous launches, SMS Audio has proved to be very popular in the US, Western Europe, Scandinavia and Oceania. Dubai’s quality-sensitive customers will now have convenient access to the sophisticated features offered by the brand.

SMS Audio is currently available at electronics retailers around the Middle East and South Africa, and customers have a range of fashionable colors and styles to select from.

GITEX: Epson launches new business projector series

October 16, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Epson, the world leader in the projector market for over ten years, is now offering a complete digital solution for business meetings with the Middle East launch of a new business projector series. The EB-1410Wi and EB-1400Wi, unveiled during Epson’s participation at the 2012 GITEX Technology Week Dubai, combine the benefits of projectors, interactive whiteboards, flipcharts and other presentation equipment in one easy-to-use device. Delivering a 100-inch interactive projected image, and providing a wide variety of input sources, these models help businesses increase productivity and cut installation costs, by eliminating the need for multiple pieces of meeting room equipment.

The advanced features of these models allow users to turn any surface into a 100-inch interactive screen and annotate on any projected image from a variety of input sources: computers, office networks, USB memory sticks, visualisers and many other smart devices. With the interactive pens provided, users can fully interact with computer software – in the same way they would with a mouse – and also annotate meeting notes. Once meetings have finished, notes can be saved and shared to office networks and USB memory sticks, in addition to being sent to other users by email.

These projectors can also be connected to Epson all-in-one business inkjet printers, such as the WorkForcePro 4500 Series. Users can scan documents directly to the projector and print out meeting notes. The majority of businesses’ existing printer fleets can also be connected for note printing.

The EB-1410Wi and EB-1400Wi also feature a multi-location function. This allows up to four separate projection systems to be connected remotely, so users can share images and presentations, and also annotate the same image remotely.

Khalil El-Dalu, General Manager, Epson Middle East, says: “These new 100-inch interactive projection systems are much more than just interactive projectors, as they offer a complete digital solution for many business meetings. With one piece of equipment doing the job of three or four, businesses are able to reduce investment costs on additional equipment and streamline meetings more efficiently. Moreover, by launching this series at GITEX Technology Week we look to gain additional mileage given the excellent platform presented by this event.”

 

Features

EB-1410Wi

EB-1400Wi

Multi-purpose interactive meeting room solution

Complete interactive package: projector, two digital pens, built-in software, wall-mount

Save, edit and share meeting notes

3,100 lumens White and Colour Light Output

2,600

Large projected image size of up to 100 inches/254cm

Ultra-short-throw widescreen presenting

Make any presenting surface interactive

Compatible with Epson office inkjets and also the majority of current office printers

Built-in interactive functionality for annotating presentations without connecting to a computer

Two interactive pens can be used simultaneously

Multi-location function

External control pad with large, easy-to-use buttons

No image calibration or drivers needed

Built-in 10W speaker

3LCD technology for natural colours and accurate colour reproduction

DisplayPort and HDMI digital inputs for high-definition content

GITEX: Dubai eGovernment unveils mobile ePayment applications

October 15, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Mobile apps are what every smart company is moving towards with their business, and now locally we can take great advantage of this too with many retailers using mobile apps for their payments. Now, the government is getting on that as well with easier ways to make bill payments.

In line with its ‘Customers First’ strategy and its commitment to adopt the latest technologies in support of Dubai’s eTransformation, Dubai eGovernment has recently announced the launch of two new mobile applications to facilitate real-time ePayment services and allow easy access to all services provided by the Government of Dubai. The system is developed by GEMALTO.

This launch comes in conjunction with the 32nd GITEX Technology Week, being held from October 14 to 18, 2012, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC). The first application is designed to offer immediate ePayment services via mobile phones to facilitate access to information and online payment transactions of three main government services: Dubai Police fines, DEWA bills and RTA Salik account recharge. The second application covers Dubai Government services such as information, location and contact details of government authorities and departments, and also the filing of complaints or making suggestions online.

 In addition, the public will be able to stay up-to-date with the latest news on Dubai and government authorities, as well as the various events taking place in the emirate, while also being able to access a database of information on more than 1,600 exciting landmarks in and around Dubai.

 These applications make available a mixture of the latest events, news, radio programmes and TV shows, providing users with comprehensive information on the wide range of e-services offered by local government authorities via the Dubai Government Portal (dubai.uae)

H.E. Ahmed Bin Humaidan, Director General of Dubai eGovernment, said: “These new applications are of immense importance as they represent an effective, highly-advanced mobile channel enabling users-on-the-go to access our electronic services anytime, anywhere. Dubai eGovernment has ensured that these applications are in sync with the Dubai Government Portal, as well as with Dubai government eServices.”

Bin Humaidan further added that the Department has designed these services to bring in highly efficient, reliable and user-friendly mobile ePayment services, and increase public awareness about Dubai eGovernment’s eServices and channels aiming to ease the lives of citizens, residents, businesses and visitors by offering easy and simple payment methods and information.

 “These two applications will contribute to the increasing popularity of government eServices, thus complementing the imminent digital transformation in Dubai. We are confident that the new ePayment application will help extend our online customer base. Moreover, Dubai eGovernment is looking forward to leverage these advanced mobile applications during this year’s edition of GITEX Technology Week, introducing the latest, most sophisticated technologies to the public, such as iPhone applications which are widely used in Dubai and the UAE. The two new applications contain a simple, touch-screen-friendly interface in both Arabic and English languages. We are also planning to launch more innovative applications for mobile users in the near future,” concluded Bin Humaidan.

GITEX: HP Launches HP Institute at American University of Sharjah

October 15, 2012 by  
Filed under News

HP today announced the launch of its first HP Institute program in the Middle East, by signing an academic partnership with American University of Sharjah (AUS) at GITEX Technology Week.

In today’s business environment, employers need IT expertise to translate business needs into technology strategies and end–to-end solutions. However, there is a considerable gap between the traditional courses Universities deliver and business needs.  HP and AUS signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) which includes access to HP Institute curriculum and an HP Educational and Science Center at the university to boost business-ready IT skills in the region. The agreement supports the region’s goal to decrease reliance on an energy-based economy and grow its technology-savvy workforce.

“The IT sector is becoming more important in the Middle East as countries look beyond energy as the mainstay of their economies to a knowledge-based society. This shift requires different skill sets and is creating demand for skilled IT professionals,” said Eyad Shihabi, Managing Director, HP Middle East. “The HP Institute program will help drive this transition. By partnering with educational institutions, we create a continuous talent pool of IT graduates with the skills and experience to help businesses succeed today and in the future.”

 By offering the HP Accredited Technical Associate (ATA) certification, academic institutions can elevate their degree program to potential employers by providing more rounded and better qualified graduates with much needed technology skills, expertise, and business insight.

“Equipping graduates with the right skills suitable for today’s competitive marketplace is one of our main goals at AUS,” said Dr Peter Heath, Chancellor of AUS. “By opening the HP Educational and Science Center, we are providing students with another means to be prepared for work, giving them the tools they need to be successful, while increasing their employability. We’re pleased to partner with HP to add further resources to aid the region’s businesses by providing skilled, work-ready graduates from the first HP Institute in the region.”

The HP Educational and Science Centre at AUS will be equipped with the latest hardware and software from HP. During the creation, HP experts and university professors will jointly develop new educational IT courses for students and organize research based on topics currently vital in the sphere of IT.

Students will be able to enroll in courses at the Center which will provide industry-recognized certification and practical experience to pursue a career in IT. By offering the HP Accredited Technical Associate (ATA) courses, academic institutions can elevate degree programmes to potential employers by providing qualified, job-ready graduates with the technical skills, expertise, and business insight.

Each module of the HP programme teaches industry-standard technologies, through courseware, practice tests and hands-on labs. Including modules on cloud computing, the courses have been designed to provide skills that are particularly appropriate for small and mid-sized companies – a sector which HP has previously announced as a focus for its support and investment.

The certification will enable HP to offer links between graduates and HP’s 8,000 strong global alliance partner and reseller network, encouraging them to recruit HP ATA certified professionals by demonstrating a preference to hire these graduates.

GITEX: SanDisk Announces Quick-Install Client SSD Caching Solution to Boost PC Performance

October 15, 2012 by  
Filed under News

SSD’s themselves didn’t even become very popular in terms of main storage that we now have SSD caching solutions? Read on to see what Sandisk has to offer.

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, today announced an affordable, easy-to-install SSD caching solution that lets consumers significantly improve their desktop computer’s performance. The SanDisk ReadyCache™, solution, which will be available in the Middle East market at the end of this month, can boost a desktop computer’s boot, shutdown and application launch times, allowing consumers to enjoy a more responsive computing experience, while utilizing their existing hard drive’s storage.

Easy Upgrade Breathes New Life into Desktop Computers

The SanDisk ReadyCache product is a performance enhancing caching solution that combines a 32 gigabyte (GB)1 2.5-inch SSD that resides alongside a desktop computer’s hard drive with ExpressCache software by Condusiv Technologies. The software, sold exclusively by SanDisk, is easily downloaded from the SanDisk website and can be installed on any desktop PC running Windows® 7 operating system. After installing the SSD and software, the SanDisk ReadyCache solution’s advanced caching algorithms automatically manage data by caching frequently used files to improve overall performance2.

  • Faster Boot Times: The SanDisk ReadyCache hardware and software solution enables up to four times faster boot performance3 than a standalone hard drive, letting consumers boot their computer quickly and shut down the system in moments.
  • Faster Application Launches: The caching solution launches applications up to 12 times faster3, which is especially useful during gaming, business and multimedia applications.
  • Supports Multiple Hard Drives: Unlike most SSD caching solutions, the SanDisk ReadyCache solution can pull data from multiple hard drives, enabling a consistent performance improvement when utilizing more than one hard drive.
  • Supports High-Capacity Hard Drives: The solution supports hard drives with any amount of capacity so users can enjoy maximum storage space.
  • Data Coherency: All data that resides in the cache also resides on the primary storage, which helps prevent data loss if the caching solution is later uninstalled.
  • Seamless Multitasking: The caching solution enables consumers to smoothly run simultaneous applications, ideal when multitasking.
  • Fast Installation: With the SanDisk ReadyCache solution, consumers don’t need to replace their existing hard drive, clone their operating system, perform lengthy installs or migrate data. The product comes with an installation kit that includes a SATA 6Gb/s cable, a 3.5-inch mounting bracket and screws; and the software is simple to download and install.
  • Affordability: The caching solution allows consumers to enjoy the fast performance of a new computer without paying for an entire system.

“The SanDisk ReadyCache is an easy, affordable way to turbo-charge a desktop computer,” said Kent Perry, director, product marketing, SanDisk. “Our new SSD caching solution lets consumers enjoy the performance benefits of frequently used data coming from an SSD while retaining the storage capacity of their hard drive. It is an ideal combination of the benefits of an SSD and hard drive.”

SanDisk Solid State Drives

SanDisk offers a full portfolio of SSD products for the retail, OEM and enterprise channels.

In the retail channel, along with the SanDisk ReadyCache solution, SanDisk offers the SanDisk Extreme® SSD, which features maximum performance for gamers and other heavy computer users.

OEM products include the U100 SSD for cost-effective performance and customizable form factors, the X100 SSD featuring the utmost in performance and storage capacity for desktop and notebook PC manufacturers, and the SanDisk iSSD integrated storage device for an embedded SSD SATA form factor. All models are available as standalone SSDs or dual drive caching solutions.

For the enterprise channel, Lightning® SSDs provide the industry’s widest array of flexible cloud and data center system design solutions. The drives deliver dramatic I/O performance, predictable performance and reliability4.

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